Recipient of the 2021 Middlesex county bar association municipal court practice award
Criminal and Municipal Court
As a former Assistant Prosecutor, Joe has a unique perspective from both sides of the criminal justice system. He is well-equipped to handle your charges in Federal court, Superior court, or Municipal court. Joe has taught law enforcement officers across the country on multiple topics and knows the boundaries of proper police conduct. When you hire him to represent you, he will keep you informed every step of the way and he will ensure you understand all of your options and all possible outcomes.
Personal Injury Law
Having spent years representing both insurance carriers and injured parties, Joe Surman is the right choice if you've been injured and you're in need of legal representation. Joe is always available and takes a friendly, hands-on approach to your case. His clients are more than just clients. He's willing to go the extra mile to ensure you're fairly compensated for your injury.
Labor & Employment Law
As a member of both the NJ State PBA Legal Protection Plan and State Trooper Fraternal Association Legal Protection Plan, Joe is available as counsel for the majority of law enforcement officers in the State of New Jersey. Joe's past experience as an Assistant Prosecutor required him to guide and instruct law enforcement officers on a moment's notice at all hours of the day. He brings that same dedication to protecting the rights of those who put their lives on the line protecting us.
Prior to opening Surman Law in 2019, Joe Surman spent most of his twelve-year legal career as an Assistant Prosecutor in Middlesex County from 2008 through 2016. He tried more than 50 cases to verdict, including 20 jury trials, for offenses including murder, armed robbery, drug distribution, and fraud. After leaving the Prosecutor's Office, Joe then spent three years with two of the most prominent and reputable civil law firms in Central New Jersey. During that time, he not only represented insurance carriers, municipalities, and police departments against lawsuits for personal injuries but also brought personal injury claims on behalf of those injured in motor vehicle accidents, trip-and-falls, and medical malpractice claims.
During his term as an Assistant Prosecutor, Joe was a member of the team that successfully prosecuted the matter of State v. Michelle Lodzinski, a 25 year-old cold-case involving the murder of a reportedly missing child, which garnered national attention. He also served as an on-call legal advisor for police departments in Middlesex County and the Middlesex County SORT team during high-risk swat operations. In addition, Joe was assigned to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims’ Unit, where he prosecuted sexual assault and child endangering cases. He has brought that invaluable experience to the arena of criminal defense, where he has represented criminal defendants in prosecutions for firearms offenses, official misconduct, domestic violence, DUI, assault, and possession of controlled dangerous substances.
Joe is a member of the legal protection plans for the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association and State Trooper’s Fraternal Association. He has represented police officers in criminal prosecutions, disciplinary hearings, labor and employment disputes, fitness for duty evaluations, internal affairs investigations, and critical incidents such as police-involved shootings.
Joe has taught at the Middlesex County New Police Officer Training Course and has presented a two-hour course on the Use of Cell Tower Mapping and Historical Cell Records. He is a national lecturer on developments in police body camera and surveillance systems. He also teaches annually on the use of trial evidence through the New Jersey State Bar Association. He is a graduate of the Top Gun Undercover Narcotics Officer Training Course and the Finding Words Child Abuse Forensic Interview Protocol.
Joe received his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in 2004, and his law degree from Rutgers University School of Law in 2007. While in law school, Joe was an Executive Board Member for the Hunter Moot Court Program. After law school, he clerked for The Honorable Frederick P. DeVesa, P.J. with the Criminal Division in Middlesex County during the 2007-2008 term.